The Border Studies Collection examines the issues surrounding the border between the United States and Mexico. Through photographic collections, oral histories, manuscripts, videos, newspaper archives and guest lectures issues such as immigration, human rights, globalization, and economic violence are examined. The Border Studies oral histories encompasses multiple perspectives on the current issues in the border cities and the climate in Mexico. See clips of interviews on our YouTube Channel.
The project Journalists focuses on the experience of journalist and photojournalist in border cities. Photojournalist Julián Cardona donated his collection of over 17,000 images to the Institute which is being made available online. Cardona speaks about his internationally recognized work documenting transnational economic violence in Mexico, the resulting exodus of Mexican communities, and the emergence of the new Americans in the Unites States.
Journalist Sandra Rodríguez Nieto discuses her career as an investigative reporter for El Diario de Juárez. She expounds on the devastating effect that crime has had on Juárez and on the dangers and challenges that a journalist encounters in Mexico.
Mexicanos en Exilio (Mexicans in Exile), an organization in El Paso, was founded by Carlos Spector and his wife, Sandra Spector. The nonprofit, the first of its kind, raises funds for trauma counseling, housing, and other refugee needs, as well as arranging speaking tours so that asylum recipients can educate U.S. residents about the realities of the drug war.
Within the series:
Carlos Spector is the most successful U.S. political asylum attorney for Mexicans seeking justice. Spector speaks about the real impact of the "War on Drug" on the Mexican communities in the Mexico-US border region, terrorized by drug cartels, Mexican military and the police, and an economic model designed to destroy their economic survival.
Saúl Reyes Salazar, human rights activist, was a baker in Mexico until the violence of the drug cartels let to the loss of six family members. In 2009 his nephew, Julio César Reyes, was killed while the military was merely 300 feet away. The following year his sister, Josefina Reyes, was killed after protesting her son’s death. The family continued to protest and Reyes Salazar’s brother, Rubén, was killed. His other brother Elías, his sister Malena and sister-in-law Luisa were kidnapped later. The remaining family demanded that their family be found alive. In response, they received harassment and accusations of being involved in criminal activity. Their unending search for justice resulted in the burning of their homes in Guadalupe. Soon afterward the bodies of the three kidnapped victims appeared. The family sought asylum from Carlos Spector after receiving threats. See the article "Drug War a Ruse for Human Rights Violations by Mexican Government."
Community Organization Leaders highlights the work of José Antonio Galván, known as "El Pastor." El Pastor lived with his family in Los Angeles for 16 years where her learned to operator a crane. He was rough, getting into fights, and doing lots of drugs and alcohol. Eventually he went to prison and was deported to Juárez where he became a drug addict. El Pastor was “born again” in 1985 and began preaching. In 1986 he founded Visión en Acción, taking in the outcasts of society in a city that has limited mental health services. He picks up “crazy” people who have been dumped across the border, who have no one to provide care, bringing them to his alyssum. He and his staff provide shelter and care for the mentally ill and people suffering from various additions in Juárez. Continue below to see the full list of interviews.